By Logan Smith

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS) — An Elbert County District Court judge handed down a mandatory life sentence Thursday to 22-year-old Christopher Leary for the murder of 56-year-old June Anderson, the mother of his fiancée.

Anderson was stabbed to death on Oct. 31, 2018, in her Elizabeth home.

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At the time, Leary was living in the home with his girlfriend and their newborn son. Anderson and Leary had an argument about a mess in the kitchen, according to prosecutors from the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Leary left the residence and went for a walk to “cool off,” but the attempt failed.

(credit: 18th Judicial District)

“Tonight was the final straw,” Leary told an investigator late on the evening of Oct. 31. “I didn’t want her to start up again, but of course, she did. I wasn’t going to have it at all. If she says a thing, I am going to go out there and take care of this.”

When Leary returned to the house, Anderson made a negative comment about her daughter. Leary attacked her. He kicked down her bedroom door and beat her.

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“I have already gone too far,” he later told the investigator referencing his thought process. “If I am going to go to jail or prison, I might as well do it for something that is worth it.”

Leary retrieved a knife from his bedroom and stabbed Anderson in the throat, according to prosecutors.

June Anderson (credit: Ponderosa Valley Funeral Services)

Leary was convicted in July of First Degree Murder, a Class 1 felony. The jury deliberated three hours at the end of the six-day trial in reaching its decision.

“No matter what the victim said, she did not deserve to die,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Doug Bechtel told the jury during closing arguments. “Her words did not warrant the defendant’s actions.”


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Logan Smith